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Indy 500 Parade to Kick Off State's Wine Grape Month
Indiana Ag Connection - 05/23/2019

June has been designated as Wine Grape Month in Indiana, and the wine industry will team up with another signature state event, the Indianapolis 500, to kick off the month.

An "Explore Indiana Wines" float will be among those in the 500 Festival Parade, which begins at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday in downtown Indianapolis. The exploration of Indiana's wineries and vineyards continues on June 1 with the 20th annual Vintage Indiana Festival, which will run from noon to 6 p.m. at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis.

"The monthlong celebration is to make consumers aware of Indiana's vibrant wine industry and encourage them to sample Hoosier wines and visit some of the state's many wineries and vineyards," said Katie Barnett, marketing Extension specialist for Purdue's Wine Grape Team. "Summer is a prime time for vacations and weekend trips, and wineries will have events throughout the summer and special deals during Wine Grape Month. As an added bonus, over the next few weeks the vineyards should be in full bloom."

Barnett said the month will also be a good time to sample some of the newly crowned winners from the annual Indy International Wine Competition, which is the nation's largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition. This year's event continues Thursday in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms on the West Lafayette campus. About 2,000 wines from around the world will be vying for top honors.

Wine Grape Month will highlight Traminette, Indiana's signature wine grape variety. Barnett said Traminette was a perfect choice to highlight during the month since it is a good summer wine in terms of its sweetness and floral and fruity qualities.

Since 2011 Traminette varieties have assisted in generating an estimated $94 million in Indiana tourism spending.

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